TESTS for Strep A have largely sold out online after thousands of worried parents stripped the shelves.
At=home tests for Strep A have largely sold out online after thousands of worried parents stripped the shelves[/caption]
Seven-year-old Hanna Roap’s condition began with just a mild cough – she died within 24-hours. She is pictured above with her mum Salah[/caption]
Despite this, The Sun has seen multipack Strep A tests available on some websites – with a 50 pack on sale for an eye watering £270.
The kits are similar to PCR Covid tests, involving a long cotton bud that swabs the back of the throat.
The sample is then dipped into a solution and a strip test displays the result of the illness which has now killed nine kids in the UK.
Walk-in Strep A tests are available from your local pharmacy.
The shortage comes as The Sun revealed Britain is facing a critical shortage of penicillin and amoxicillin antibiotics, used to treat the disease.
Parents have reported difficulty in getting hold of the over-the-counter medicine as pharmacies faced relentless demand.
But ministers – despite supply issues, costs and a shortage of ingredients for the medicines – are considering a rollout in schools.
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) – is also known as Streptococcus pyogenes.
The four signs of Strep A you need to know
There are four key signs of Group Strep A to watch out for, according to the NHS. These are
- A fever (meaning a high temperature above 38°C)
- Severe muscle aches
- Localised muscle tenderness
- Redness at the site of a wound
It is a bacteria that in most cases, will cause mild illnesses.
This can include sore throats and skin infections, alongside tonsillitis, cellulitis, and scarlet fever, which is flu-like and tends to occur in children – it can be serious if not treated swiftly with antibiotics.
Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria called group A streptococci. These bacteria also cause other respiratory and skin infections such as Strep throat and impetigo (a very contagious infection that starts with blistered skin).
GP Dr Rachel Ward, of Woodlands Medical Centre, Didco, explained: “Most commonly Strep A infections cause throat infections – causing sore throat with fever, or skin infections.
“It also causes scarlet fever where fever and sore throat is accompanied by a rough rash on the body, strawberry looking tongue and red cheeks.
“In more serious invasive infections, people will experience fever, severe aches and possibly muscle tenderness in one area with skin changes.
“There can also be unexplained vomiting and diarrhoea. This is an emergency and you should seek medical help immediately.”
Almost all the kids who have died were primary school age.
They include Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, four, from High Wycombe, Bucks and a youngster at a primary school in Waterlooville, Hampshire.
The lockdown is being blamed for the outbreak because children were shuttered away — creating a lower immunity to infections.
STREP A ADVICE
Contact NHS 111 or your GP if:
- Your child is getting worse.
- Your child is feeding or eating much less than normal
- Your child has had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more or shows other signs of dehydration
- Your baby is under three months old and has a temperature of 38°C, or is older than three months and has a temperature of 39°C or higher.
- Your baby feels hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, or feels sweaty.
- Your child is very tired or irritable.
Call 999 or go to A&E if:
- Your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs
- There are pauses when your child breathes
- Your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue
- Your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake